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FC Twente logo
Eredivisie | Gameweek 15
Dec 8, 2023 at 7pm UK
De Grolsch Veste
Excelsior
FC Twente
4 - 2
Excelsior
Ugalde (45'), van Wolfswinkel (59' pen., 80'), Taha (85')
Smal (67'), Propper (77')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Parrott (9'), Nieuwpoort (13')
Naujoks (24'), Dijkhuizen (25'), Driouech (26'), Horemans (57'), Nieuwpoort (59')
Zagre (24')

Preview: FC Twente vs. SBV Excelsior - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Eredivisie clash between FC Twente and SBV Excelsior, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to keep pace with the top three in the league standings, FC Twente will welcome an out-of-form SBV Excelsior to De Grolsch Veste on Friday night in the Eredivisie.

The Tukkers returned to winning ways last time out after a blistering start at Go Ahead Eagles, while Excelsior were fortunate to force a share of the spoils with RKC Waalwijk.


Match preview

Sunday afternoon saw FC Twente win their first contest on the road since the 3-0 demolition of Fortuna Sittard in October, with the Tukkers coming out of the blocks fast to stun Go Ahead Eagles and steal all three points from De Adelaarshorst against Rene Hake's side.

Handed a starting berth at the focal point of the visitors' attack, Manfred Ugalde wasted no time in getting onto the scoresheet at the weekend - making the net ripple in the first minute - before leading marksman Sem Steijn and substitute Younes Taha added goals to ensure Twente's ninth victory of the league term.

Joseph Oosting's side are enjoying a rich vein of long-term form, having suffered defeat in only one of their last nine Eredivisie matches, with that pointless contest coming when the untouchable PSV Eindhoven visited De Grolsch Veste and cruised to a three-goal success on November 25.

The Tukkers currently occupy fourth position in the Eredivisie standings having collected an admirable tally of 30 points from their opening 14 games, meaning they are level on points with Pascal Jansen's AZ Alkmaar and just two points behind Dutch champions Feyenoord.

After exiting the Europa Conference League in the final qualifying round at the hands of Turkish giants Fenerbahce, Twente are targeting a top-four finish this campaign, which would guarantee the club another crack at reaching the group stage of UEFA's third-tier competition.

A run of one loss in their first eight league matches had SBV Excelsior fans dreaming of an unlikely European push this term, but the current seven-game winless spell in the Eredivisie has lowered expectations at the Rotterdam-based club significantly - to the disappointment of manager Marinus Dijkhuizen.

The Kralingers were staring down the barrel of back-to-back defeats when a Yassin Oukili brace put Waalwijk two goals ahead at Mandemakers Stadion on Saturday night, but an own goal from Dario van den Buijs and Julian Baas's exceptional free-kick effort ensured the visitors escaped with a point.

Remaining defensively solid has proved a real issue for Excelsior since the goalless draw against bottom side Vitesse on October 7, with Friday's visitors conceding 16 goals in their last eight Eredivisie contests, leaving goalkeeper and captain Stijn van Gassel little chance of keeping a clean sheet.

After finishing above 16th-placed Emmen by just four points on their return to the top table of Dutch football, this season is still planning out to be a relative success for the Kralingers, with SBV sitting 10th in the league standings, only two points behind John van't Schip's Ajax in eighth.

There have also been issues for Excelsior at the top of the pitch recently, with five-goal striker Nikolas Agrafiotis failing to find the back of the net in his last eight appearances, meaning the Serbian has been replaced by Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott in attack over the past few games.

FC Twente Eredivisie form:

SBV Excelsior Eredivisie form:


Team News

Twente remain without the services of centre-back Mees Hilgers as they welcome Excelsior on Friday night, with the 22-year-old serving a two-game suspension for collecting a red card in the loss against league leaders PSV.

The Tukkers could also be without one of their most influential players on and off the field, as Michel Vlap is still recovering from a knock that he suffered in the middle of November.

Daan Rots's continued selection in the Twente team has been questioned by some sections of the fanbase in recent weeks, but the youngster will keep his place in the XI after contributing to all three goals at Go Ahead last time out.

Excelsior's medical room remains close to full capacity ahead of Friday's trip to Twente, with Jacky Donkor, Mike van Duinen and Raphael Eyongo all yet to feature this season.

On loan from title holders Feyenoord, centre-back Lennard Hartjes's involvement in Rotterdam has been severely restricted by a knee injury sustained in August, meaning the 20-year-old has played just one league match.

Leading marksman Agrafiotis is expected to be rewarded with a starting berth after impressing off the bench on the weekend, whilst Swedish duo Richie Omorowa and Oscar Uddenas will also be pushing for spots in the XI.


FC Twente possible starting lineup:
Unnerstall; Sampsted, Van Hoorenbeeck, Propper, Smal; Kjolo, Steijn, Sadilek; Rots, Regeer, Ugalde

SBV Excelsior possible starting lineup:
Van Gassel; Horemans, Widell, Nieuwpoort, Zagre; Sandra, Yaakoubi, Baas; Parrott, Driouech, Agrafiotis


SM words green background

We say: FC Twente 2-1 SBV Excelsior

Apart from when PSV came to town at the end of last month, Twente are unbeaten at De Grolsch Veste this season and will be confident of adding three points to their tally on Friday.

Excelsior were unconvincing during their stalemate at Waalwijk on the weekend, and we feel that the Kralingers' winless run in the Eredivisie will continue in Enschede.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: FC Twente vs Excelsior

FC Twente
92.6%
Draw
3.7%
SBV Excelsior
3.7%
27
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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1PSV EindhovenPSV22202070106062
2Feyenoord22164256173952
3FC Twente22135442222044
4AZ AlkmaarAZ22116542222039
5Ajax22106651411036
6Go Ahead Eagles229763729834
7FC UtrechtUtrecht238872930-132
8NECNijmegen227964137430
9Sparta RotterdamSparta228592931-229
10PEC Zwolle227693134-327
11Almere CityAlmere City227692237-1527
12Heerenveen2274113444-1025
13Fortuna SittardSittard2266102239-1724
14Heracles2364132953-2422
15SBV ExcelsiorExcelsior224993545-1021
16RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk2253142039-1918
17FC VolendamVolendam2234152353-3013
18Vitesse2234151646-3013

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